“You need to shape up if you call yourself a Christian!” or “Jesus will forgive me, don’t be so legalistic.”
Both of these statements reflect the two polar barbs that the Christian doesn’t want to get tangled up in. How do we exercise balance here and steer clear of these extremes?
By walking in grace. Bryan Chapell writes that in a Christ-centered life, “the rules of Christian obedience do not change; the reasons do.”
In other words, yes we are supposed to do the right thing…but for the right reasons. It is a question of motivation. The grace of God enables us to rely on Christ to please the Father, so we do not have to be concerned about offering the right sacrifice or working hard enough, or giving enough money. We are now free to love each other without trying to get something in return. “For Christ’s love compels us…” 2 Corinthians 5:14 and “God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7